Four years ago, the New York Giants stunned the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl 42. The Giants' 17-14 victory prevented Tom Brady and company from yet another ring and the first ever 19-0 season in NFL history. Now, the two teams will meet again in Super Bowl 46 on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis. No undefeated season is on the line, and neither starting quarterback is going for his first ring. Still, there is already a lot of hype surrounding this matchup after how the Patriots and Giants made it to the Super Bowl in the first place.
AFC Championship Game: Patriots 23, Ravens 20
Depending on your view of the play, we could very well be talking about a rematch of Super Bowl 35 right now if not for a drop by Lee Evans/a great defensive play by Sterling Moore. Evans briefly had the ball in his grasp in the end zone in the final seconds of Sunday's game. Had he been able to hang on, the Ravens would have taken the lead and in all likelihood won the game. The ball was dropped/knocked loose, however, and after another incompletion on the next play, the Ravens had to settle for a game-tying field goal. The play seemed rushed, and Billy Cundiff pushed the 32-yard attempt wide left. The Patriots avoided overtime and clinched yet another trip to the Super Bowl.
NFC Championship Game: Giants 20, 49ers 17 (OT)
Unlike the Patriots/Ravens game, the NFC title game did go to overtime. This was a classic defensive battle, and the Giants ultimately won it thanks to a fumble on a punt return by Kyle Williams. It was his second turnover of the day on a punt return, and this one led to a 31-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes that won the Giants the game and sent them back to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XLVI: Patriots vs. Giants (Feb. 5, 6:25 p.m., NBC)
The rematch of the 2008 Super Bowl features a Patriots team that hasn't lost a game since Nov. 6. Interestingly enough, that loss was at the hands of the Giants. New York, on the other hand, faced quite the letdown in the wake of that win in early November. The Giants lost four straight games after the win and actually lost five out of six after leaving New England. Thanks to wins in the final two weeks of the season, the Giants narrowly made the playoffs, and they carried that momentum into the postseason to win games against the Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers.
Much like the Packers, the Patriots enter the Super Bowl with an explosive offense and a questionable defense. The Giants seem to be peaking on all fronts right now, including special teams. Right now I'm leaning toward giving Tom Brady the edge in his rematch with Eli Manning, but my mind could very well change in the next couple of weeks. What is your early prediction for the game?